Top 5 ways to work smarter not harder


ID-100261047There is so much daily pressure to get it all done. Our schedules fill up before we know it. Sometimes it’s due to our clients work, while other times we simply try to do too much. Staying “busy” isn’t always the most efficient way to work. Some people feel harassed by the constant interruptions of emails, phone calls, texts and maybe an unexpected meeting or two.

We want to avoid mindless “productivity,” which is the constant need to do something, amounting in a tendency to waste time on menial tasks. Your business can become “blocked” if you are avoiding things like cold calling, proposal rejections or even dealing with a challenging client. It is much better to have a proactive plan rather than a reactive one to tackle the tough parts of the day. A positive energy flow promotes creative thinking and helps you cope with issues easier throughout the day.
#1 Simplify.Your day shouldn’t be about squeezing as many tasks into it as possible. It’s about simplifying how you work, doing things quicker and relieving stress, thus allowing space in your life for people, rest and play.

#2 Learn to say no. Remember, you are in charge of your schedule and agree to set the items on it. For instance, if your child wants to play the piano but also wants to play basketball, you can always negotiate. You are an example to them on how to manage your busy life. It also sets boundaries for them so you can rebalance your life in a more purposeful, healthy manner.

#3 Set aside one hour a day to plan. Strategize how to address any issues and do the hardest task first to keep your energy level up.

#4 Don’t multi-task everything. Did you know only 2% of people can multi-task efficiently, according to studies? No need to add all the extra pressure to always be “on.” You might be getting many things done, but what is the quality of work?

#5 Your “to-do” list should be realistic. Do not allow yourself to get overwhelmed by it in totality. One of the fastest ways to get stressed out is to think about your massive to-do list. Focus on the one task before you. Then tackle one, single, solitary task at a time.

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Top 5 indicators my company needs public relations?


Public relations can be an invaluable tool to amp up your word of mouth. It can range from educating your target audiences to repositioning your company against the competition. Many times we all have enjoyed the community events and charitable happenings fueled by PR. It also can fast track a company into the main stream spotlight.

Below are top five reasons to consider PR:

1. My company is going through a merger.

2. My company wants to launch a new service/product.

3. No one knows what my company is doing.

4. Your company and staff are doing lots of outreach but no one outside of the business knows about it.

5. You want to reposition your company in a specific focus and different light.

Public relations can be quite cost effective when compared to the small investment in working with the media vs having to pay for that media placement. The right campaign can provide exposure to a much larger audience for a modest investment.

Recently we did a short media blitz for one our customers. He did a local media appearance which resulted in his message being delivered to 250,000 folks and a consistent spike in product revenue. His investment was a small fraction of what the actual media buy would have been to buy the air time to deliver his message to the right audiences. Not to mention the print media coverage to add an additional 40,000 readers. A reputable firm will offer a client metrics to leverage big data to show how the approach moved audiences into an action or reaction. If you are looking for some professional help please give Baker Creative a call to find out more at 614.836.3845 for an assessment.

 

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Tips to get fast relief when working is a “pain in the neck”

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ID-100159204Is going to work making you sick? Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are conditions caused by placing too much stress on a joint,  such as unusual repetitive movements. Most RSIs are linked to the stress of repetitive motions at the computer or overuse injuries in sports, sometimes referred to as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or cumulative trauma disorder.  RSIs frequently develop at work. Small, repetitive activities can strain the muscles and tendons of your upper body, including the shoulder.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), repetitive strain injuries are the nation’s most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation.

Activities that can cause RSI include:  use of industrial machinery, use of a computer mouse, swiping items at a supermarket checkout stand and carrying or lifting heavy loads. Chronic shoulder pain often stems from prolonged, repetitive, or awkward movements. This type of pain is sometimes referred to as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or cumulative trauma disorder.  RSIs frequently develop at work. Small, repetitive activities can strain the muscles and tendons of your upper body, including the shoulder. Chronic shoulder and neck pain can a result Working long hours at a computer can really take a toll on our bodies.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly two-thirds of all occupational illnesses reported, were caused by exposure to repeated trauma to workers upper body ( the wrist, elbow or shoulder ). One common example of such an injury is carpal tunnel syndrome.

Long term shoulder pain can become a chronic problems if you work on:
– a computer mouse
– industrial equipment
– swiping items at a retail check out
– lifting or carrying leave loads

Often times determining contributing factors can be difficult. Being sedentary such as working at your computer can weaken your muscles, resulting in pain. Often times, as the day goes longer, many tend to get more tired sitting at their computer, resulting in poor posture and pain.

Some of the most common sources for shoulder and upper body pain:

- awkward postures at a desk
– forced pressure on the body
– resting your wrists on a hard edge while typing
–  full body vibration while driving machinery
– using your arms above shoulder level i.e. a hair stylist cutting hair
– being exposed to extreme temperature
– when the body holds a position for an extended period of time

Tips to prevent having working become “a pain”:

- try taking frequent breaks to stretch and get moving. It will also clear out your mind for a short mental break. Set a calendar reminder on your computer to remind yourself to take frequent breaks. Giving your eyes a break will help you distress at work. Try refocusing them on a object about 20 feet way periodically throughout the day.

- your computer monitor should be about a shoulder’s length away from you with the top of the monitor at eye level.

- keep the keyboard and monitor directly straight in front of you to avoid long term turning of your neck/head.

- your elbows should be even with your work space. Consider installing an adjustable keyboard and mouse work tray to your desk.

- to give your dominant hand a break, try switching to your other hand to run the mouse on your computer. It will force you to low down a bit which may provide some relief.

- get a phone headset for longer calls to avoid cradling the phone between your neck and shoulder. You can also use you non-dominant hand for phone calls to free up your hands for computer use.

-  try yoga or ti chi

- write a note or set a reminder on you calendar to sit correctly.

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Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repetitive_strain_injury & http://www.rsi-therapy.com/statistics.htm

Here are some ways to sit correctly:
• feet should be flat on the floor or on a desk foot rest
• hands and wrists should a aligned with your forearms
• thighs should be parallel to the floor
• elbows should be close to your body and supported
• your lower back should be supported
• shoulders should be relaxed

These are a few tips to address pain and discomfort. We recommend seeing your doctor for a examination to determine the root cause and for treatment before trying these tips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do PR professionals do anyway?


ID-100155454Many think public relations has become “a spin doctor” in folks’ minds. PR professionals don’t write ads, write stories for reporters or write commercials. PR firms promote companies or individuals through traditional editorial or online digital channels. “Earned” or “free” media are stories in newspapers, magazines, TV show or websites. This is different than a paid ad that was bought and placed on a specific publication or media channel.

PR agencies goals are:  promoting clients and positioning them as successful, honest, important or exciting. Articles or TV appearances in respected publications have the advantage of third-party validation. These media pieces are generally viewed by the public more favorably.

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” PRSA.org

According to PRSA (Public Relations Society of America), as a management function, public relations also encompasses the following:

  • Anticipating, analyzing and interpreting public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact, for good or ill, the operations and plans of the organization.
  • Counseling management at all levels in the organization with regard to policy decisions, courses of action and communication, taking into account their public ramifications and the organization’s social or citizenship responsibilities.
  • Researching, conducting and evaluating, on a continuing basis, programs of action and communication to achieve the informed public understanding necessary to the success of an organization’s aims. These may include marketing; financial; fund raising; employee, community or government relations and other programs.
  • Planning and implementing the organization’s efforts to influence or change public policy. Setting objectives, planning, budgeting, recruiting and training staff, developing facilities — in short, managing the resources needed to perform all of the above.
    Source: http://www.prsa.org/aboutprsa/publicrelationsdefined/#.VBDY8WRdWF8

The best PR efforts are the ones that really speak to audiences that resonate and align a strong, memorable message. In the long run, public relations can be a smart investment in your brand. The visibility of a firm or individual can be measured in increased recognition and reputation.

Photo source: freedigitalphotos.net

3 Tips to destress in today’s fast paced world

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ID-10039760We can relate to running from one commitment to another all day long, which has you feeling empty and on edge. More and more folks are finding themselves staying up all hours of the night unable to sleep. Tons of thoughts run through their mind resulting in massive to-do lists for the following day. Take some time and slow down to breathe. Overloading may give one a sense of accomplishment, but at what cost? Here are a few tips to help you destress and hit the pause button just for a brief moment.

Did you know: meditation boosts many hormones that affect your overall well-being. It increases your DHEA which alleviates depression, your GABA which stabilizes your mood and your melatonin which helps you sleep better.
Source: operationmeditation.com

Tip 1: Focus on breathing

Take a few minutes daily to sit quietly to focus on your breathing. Breathe deeply in and imagine stress breathing out of your body You’ll feel refreshed immediately. Why not incorporate a little yoga or meditation into your early morning routine?

Tip 2: Stay in the moment

Most stress comes from either reliving the past or worrying about the future. Some may even fret over what-ifs. Typically, the what-ifs don’t come true and add a ton of wear and tear on you mentally. It is hard to feel energized when all of your focus is on worry. The more you worry the more anxiety builds up.

“The world only change from within”
Eckhart Tolle

Don’t allow yourself to get flooded with negative thoughts of anxiety.

Tip 3: If you can’t change your situation, change your perception.
Does your life feel like it’s beyond your control? Feeling sorry for yourself is not the answer. The reality is few things are beyond your control. You almost always have the option to do something that shifts your circumstances. If you have negative thoughts creep in, replace them with a positive ones. Refuse to allow that negative thought to rent any more space in your spirit.

Photo: freephotos.net

Back-to-Business Basics

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back-to-businessIt’s that time of year again. Summer has flown by and it’s back-to-school for many students.

Summer is often a time for relaxation – to take things slow, enjoy the weather and maybe even sneak in a vacation.

Taking a break from work is great for your mental health. But as we enter the fall, your business and workload may start to pick up. And we want you to be ready!

So we’ve put together a few back-to-business basics to get your mind refocused as we leave summer behind and enter into another fall season!

  1. Remember Your Company’s Mission

First, take a step back and refocus. What is your company’s mission? Why did you get into the business world, a specific industry or choose to start you own business? There was an underlying motivation in those decisions. Revisit it. When you know why you do what you do and how your products/services better your customers, you can approach your business practices with the bigger picture in mind.

  1. Have a Listening Ear

You hired a team of great employees, so remember that they may be a source for great ideas, especially when it comes to productivity and efficiency in process or operations. If you’re willing to ask the questions and listen, you’ll probably find two or three great ideas you can implement.

  1. Hit The Books

Don’t discount the value of seminars, books and workshops. Learning is a lifelong process and a good business owner is a constant information seeker. We live in an age where more information is readily available than at any other time in history. The Internet is a source for content on anything you may be interested in learning more about. Take advantage of accumulating knowledge and information. You’ll start to see connections between categories and industries you never realized before, not to mention getting ahead of your competitors.

  1. Think About a Tutor

Getting an outside perspective can add value and dimension to your company. A good mentor can usually look at your business and give you a number of strategic suggestions you may not have thought of before, whether it’s re-pricing your product or service lines, repositioning or updating your brand, or adopting new processes for going after new or existing customers.

Need more help getting your business refocused? Baker Creative offers business-based services that can re-energize your company! Call us today at 614-836-3845 to get started.

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Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226152

Photo Source: freedigitalphotos.net

BREAKING: Is Social Media Replacing Traditional Journalism?

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news on phoneThis week, we heard devastating news from Hollywood that legendary comedian and actor Robin Williams passed away at age 63.

If you were anywhere on social media this week, most likely you saw “Robin Williams” trending on Facebook, #RIPRobin trending on Twitter or pictures of Robin on Instagram with captions such as “O Captain, my Captain. Rest in peace” (a reference to a line from Dead Poet’s Society, one of Williams’ most well-known movies).

The news of Williams’ death spread like wildfire across social media this week. In fact, I first heard about his death via Facebook.

Let’s take a step back and think about some of the most recent breaking news events. For example, how did you hear about the Hudson River plane crash? Or the announcement of the royal wedding? Or the Osama Bin Laden raid and his death?

All of these events first broke via social media.

According to mediabistro.com, over 50% of people have learned about breaking news via social media rather than official news sources. In fact, 46% of people get their news online at least 3 times per week.

With more and more people looking online as their main news source, is social media beginning to replace traditional journalism?

While this is a debatable issue, you can definitely say that citizen journalism is on the rise. Citizen journalism is based upon public citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information. New media technology, such as social networking and media-sharing websites, in addition to the increasing prevalence of cellular phones, has made citizen journalism more accessible to people worldwide. Due to the availability of technology, citizens can often report breaking news more quickly than traditional media reporters.

While citizen journalism does provide immediacy and rapid dissemination, it can also have inaccuracy and missing facts. Additionally, traditional journalists are taught certain ethical standards to uphold when it comes to reporting. Because anyone is capable of breaking news online, sometimes journalistic integrity could be compromised.

So yes, social media is becoming a source for news. But it has not fully replaced traditional journalism. Remember, fast doesn’t always mean factual. Even if you use social media as a news source, always double-check your facts with a credible news source.

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Source: http://www.mediabistro.com/10000words/social-media-wins-at-breaking-news_b12456

Photo Source: freedigitalphotos.net

Myth 2 – PR Is Not Dead

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prisnotdeadIs PR dead?

In today’s digital world, many companies are moving their customer relations online, often conversing via social media. A brand’s image can change in the blink of an eye, with content potentially going viral within seconds of posting.

Often, businesses seek to handle crisis relations through an online platform. For example, many companies will release statements on Twitter about how they are handling a situation.

With the ability to manage a crisis via an online platform, does that mean public relations is no longer needed? Is PR the next thing people are proclaiming as ‘dead?’

Despite claims, public relations remains essential for any company. But the face has been changing a lot in the past few years. According to Forbes, “The future is a still-being-defined conglomeration of public relations, digital strategy, media relations, marketing and what we will call ‘direct engagement,’ which includes everything from formal conferences to working sessions to webinars.” Jim Nichols, a contributor to Forbes, and his colleagues have been working hard on how to conceptualize this new trend, landing on the term Connected Communications.

The industry is changing. But the truth is that many of these changes have only impacted the syndication of a message and the different audiences it reaches. The bottom line is, when it comes to your company, the message is still king.

We live in a new world – a world of content sharing and discontinuity in our audience. Because of this, it is crucial that the messaging in advertising, media, product packaging, internal and external communications, etc. be consistent. Many corporations still have executives in marketing, media relations and packaging that rarely talk to one another, especially when it comes to coordinating and collaborating. But all of these different areas are now indeed connected, which calls for having connected communications across the company and to the public. The message must be consistent from end to end.

So is PR dead? Not really. Its face is just changing. Just like most businesses, their model evolves.

As a business owner, how do you keep your message consistent across departments and to the public? Baker Creative can help. Call us today at 614-836-3845 to get started.

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Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimnichols/2011/05/05/pr-is-dead/

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